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related tags: #technology #internet #privacy #design #web #chrome #android #cars #computers
The more I learn of internet companies, the more I'm convinced you don't have to get it right, you have to get it first. Amazon still hasn't gotten online shopping right. Their search engine is shit. Their recommendations are often insane. But they were the first to scrabble up the pile which gives them the ability to kick down at everyone else. Facebook is a horrible social network. However, it was the first social network that didn't look like your teenage daughter's messy bedroom.
Google also forgot one of their cardinal rules with Google plus - provide value for the user so that Google can provide value for its clients. There was nothing compelling, in and of itself, about Google plus. The nuances between Google and Facebook were entirely lost on all but the corner cases since the primary advantages were privacy and Hangouts and nobody understands their privacy or why they shouldn't just use Skype. On the other hand, any monkey understands he's being forced to create a Google plus profile in order to watch Youtube videos, and since he didn't used to have to do that he's going to resent it, not embrace it.
It's embarrassing for Google "don't be evil" plus to lose out to Facebook due to network effects. This is a company that drove every single road in the world in order to get better maps but they couldn't come up with a better reason for people to use plus other than "because I said so." Google has $400bln in market cap. They throw shitty content at me all the time. What if they'd spent 1% of that on driving adoption of google plus through carrot instead of stick - what would it look like now?
Google has been described as a company of engineers trying to make the world a better place... for better or for worse. Engineers are not the guys you want driving your social media bus. Wave, Glass, Buzz, Plus... they're geeky nerd tools that Google expected average citizens to adopt. I wonder if this will be seen as a wake-up call that sometimes the application matters more than the solution.